Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph R. Morris

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Z. Anderson

Third Advisor

Dr. Joseph P. Gone


Native American identity, racial identity, identity scale development, Native American race, Native identity scale


There is growing interest in the empirical psychological study of Native Americans. Nonetheless, currently there are few empirical investigations examining Native American identity from a racial perspective. One study, completed in 2011 by Gonzalez and Bennett, modified the Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity to adapt to Native American individuals and used an Exploratory Factor Analysis that resulted in a four factor model of Native American identity called the Native Identity Scale (Gonzalez & Bennett, 2011). The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of the Native Identity Scale when used with a sample from self-identified Native American adults in the southwest region of the United States. In addition, this study examined the influence of tribal language fluency on responses to items on the Native Identity Scale. Moreover, the study examined how the racial composition of the community individuals grew up in influenced their responses to items on the Native Identity Scale. Findings from the current study support the reliability of the Native Identity Scale when used with Native Americans from the Southwestern United State. The Exploratory Factor Analysis demonstrated some differences in items for the four subscales but the same factors (Centrality, Humanist, Public Regard, Oppressed Minority) were found for the population studied and the initial Native American population from the midwest region of the United States. Data analysis demonstrated that the tribal language fluency of participants influenced how participants responded to the humanist subscale. Overall, results of the study provided insight into salient facets of Native American identity.

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